View Full Version : What the heck did I buy?

Gary Smith
1-Apr-2007, 17:48
Hi All,

Spent a good part of the weekend, rumaging through old pawn shops in Tokyo. I came across a huge Dallmeyer 3a lens with a complete set of waterhouse stops, I think. The little information I have been able to find is, it was probably made sometime in the mid to late 1800s, and it probably covers up to 11x14. Beyond that I will admit, I know nothing about this monster, and my searches have pretty much come up empty. At this point, I am not sure weather to keep it or get rid of it. But, if anybody has information on this thing I would be greatly appreciated. Attached below are a couple of pictures.



1-Apr-2007, 18:33
6 1/2 x 8 1/2, believe it or not. But you got a nice lens there. Wish I weren't broke... ;)


1-Apr-2007, 19:22

It looks like a Dallmeyer Patent Portrait lens (non-rectilinear type) with an extremely fast aperture for portraiture.

I'm looking for one of these to match my whole-plate camera that I haven't bought yet ;)

The Dallmeyers were made in just about every focal length conceivable up to around 30 inches (?). Some even had a soft-focus facility. Looks like you have a complete set of waterhouse stops as well. Relatively low contrast, pretty much a disappointment for anyone looking to use it to enlarge; coverage beyond whole-plate format, although best suited for whole-plate ;)

Wish I was in Japan too - or at least Kyoto when the cherry blossom flowers :)

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
1-Apr-2007, 19:38
... relatively low contrast, pretty much a disappointment for anyone looking to use it to enlarge ...

Dallmeyer did a really good job with internal baffles, and considering that these lenses have six air-to-glass surfaces they are really quite high contrast. Compared to an uncoated Tessar (same six surfaces) the Dallmeyer is astounding. In terms of resolution, open wide and in center my 1930s 3B Dallmeyer resolves 30l/mm, which is as good as my coated 1970s Xenotar at f2.8.

Jim Galli
1-Apr-2007, 22:17
Full plate lens for a giant studio camera. For heads it will easily cover 8X10. I'd love to have it if you decide to sell and I can swing it. I've got one, but probably 30 yrs newer with the built in aperture.

Gary Smith
2-Apr-2007, 04:07
Hi All,

Thank you for the very helpful info. The lens is large, so much so I am a little afraid to mount it on the front of my 8x10 Wehman. I will think about it and I may sit on it for a while, but probably I would rather sell it to somebody who would use it.

Thanks again for help.


Josh X
2-Apr-2007, 06:46
The Dallmeyers were made in just about every focal length conceivable up to around 30 inches (?).

Rob, a 50" f/8 Dallmeyer was on eBay not too long ago (item # 250094809965); it didn't reach reserve although the auction went over $1700. Perhaps that's because it is only one of five made (according to the seller). I imagine it would be a blast to use on 20x24.


2-Apr-2007, 16:08
Thanks Josh. I knew I wasn't hallucinating when I imagined a 50" Dallmeyer, although it sounded incredible to my ears, I thought I was imagining :)

Currently I'm in the fashion for pancake lenses - anything over 3cm in front of the lens panel is way too extreme for me.

Gary - looks like Jim is offering to marry off your Japanese Dallymeyer to his 30 year old American Dallmeyer with a lot more inches to spare.

Gary Smith
2-Apr-2007, 21:56
Thanks again for all the helpful info. I tested it a little bit with my 8x10, and honestly I am afraid to keep it mounted. Not sure if camera is up to it. While it pains me to let this one go, I am going to part with it. Normally I would list it on Ebay, but I will list it here and on APUG. I would rather know where it goes and hopefully get a chance to see a picture or two taken with the lens.

Thanx Again.